Housing crisis in Okanogan County - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Housing crisis in Okanogan County

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OKANOGAN COUNTY, Wash. -

The Carlton Complex Wildfire left a path of destruction across more than 256 thousand acres of land. It's the largest wildfire in Washington state history and even though the flames have died down, the impact is still being felt by hundreds of residents who watched as everything they owned went up in flames.

The Okanogan County Community Action Council says as much as 50 percent of people who lost their homes in the Carlton Complex Wildfire did not have insurance and right now, the situation is very dire. The county is experiencing a housing crisis. Many of the rental properties people relied on are not being rebuilt and affordable housing is hard to come by.

Lael Duncan with the OCCAC says, "One of the things we're seeing a lot of in terms of the most repetitive unmet need is gasoline for generators and then building materials for folks that may have had some insurance but not necessarily enough to fully rebuild."

Disaster Care Managers are essential for long term assistance in the county because they help homeowners who lost everything, find services that will help them rebuild their livelihoods, yet funding for these Disaster Care Managers may soon run out, according to OCCAC.

Duncan says right now they are, "doing their best at Community Action to help people find housing as it becomes available and we're also interested in short term solutions. If folks have mobile homes they would loan that would be great or if they want to donate mobile homes, we know that we have a few property owners who would be willing to take those on."

Find out more on other challenges the community in Okanogan County is facing and what action the OCCAC plans to take now that FEMA has denied individual assistance to those that lost their homes in the interview above.

Lael Duncan can be reached at 509-422-4041. To find out more about the Okanogan County Community Action Council visit their website at: http://www.occac.com/

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